Armed forces across the US have received an extra $300,000 in bonuses from the US Federal Reserve, as they try to catch up to the recession, a military spokesman said on Monday.

The US military’s bonus fund, which the Reserve Bank of New York set up in October, provides extra payments for service members who have completed two years of active duty.

It was initially set to pay out $100,000 a year, but the Treasury Department said in December that it would increase the rate to $200,000 over two years.

“It was originally set at $300 a year and now we’re getting a bonus of $300,” the spokesman said, without providing a dollar figure.

“The bonus is in addition to the bonuses the Reserve Banks of New Jersey and New York have already handed out.”

“The bonuses were created as part of efforts to get more service members out of the trenches and back to their families, as well as to help offset the effect of the Great Recession on the economy,” he added.

Army Reserve spokesman Capt. Chris Nelms said the money was given to service members and contractors who are completing a two-year service commitment, meaning they have not been deployed or had any leave from active duty in the last two years, as required by law.

“There is no cap on the bonus amount that we can give out, and we can only give bonuses if we meet certain criteria,” he said.

“The bonuses are intended to be given to military members and employees who are not on active duty or who are under contract to a government agency, but are currently in active duty.”

The Reserve Bank has previously said it will give up to $1 million a year in bonuses to help ease the effects of the recession on the US economy.

“We have been able to respond to the economic challenges in a manner that has enabled us to deliver additional benefits to our workforce, contractors, and military families,” Nelmes said.

“But, we are still in the midst of preparing for the potential effects of further severe weather, with our current efforts to boost energy production and supply, and to restore power to homes and businesses, in addition, we will be expanding our efforts to assist small businesses, including to offer assistance in the form of training, loans, or other financial assistance, which may be offered at a later date.”

The Federal Reserve has set aside $1.4 trillion in reserves to support the US dollar, which has appreciated by more than 50 per cent against the Japanese yen since mid-2015.

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